Racism played a key role in stopping plans to build a pork processing plant in Mason City, Iowa, according to an official with Prestage Farms. At least one Mason City Council member agree with this accusation. This comes after the project failed to pass a City Council vote.

Ron Prestage, a veterinarian and leader within Prestage Farms, said Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (CCI) lobbied against the project and spread unwarranted fear, and a council member added that many locals expressed fears of an influx of immigrant workers moving into town. 

CCI's state organizing policy director Adam Mason said racism was not at play, but instead the arguments against he plant were about the concerns about environmental impact, the city's financial ability to handle an influx of residents and general complaints against "factory farming." 

In March, Prestage Farms announced plans to build a pork processing facility in Mason City that could eventually employ as many as 2,000 workers. The city council initially voted unanimously in favor of the project until a series of contentious local meetings led to the failed vote.

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Source: Des Moines Register